Monday, August 15, 2011

Company Fatoor/Iftar this past Saturday...

Good afternoon everyone!  I am really excited to post this post as I had so much fun the other night.  The story goes like this...

My husband started an Oil company five years ago.  He brought over (before that) an Omani friend he met when we lived in Saudi and they worked for an Oil company.  He brought over another friend from Yemen that we met during the same time in Saudi.  This was the core group.  I shall spare anymore details for safety's sake I guess.

Anyway, the company has flourished, thank God, and the GM holds a company Iftar party every Ramadan.  Now, I hope my readers understand that during Ramadan, we Muslims refrain from eating and drinking and any other worldly pleasures during daylight hours.  When the sun sets, we are meant to break the fast with special foods.  It is a really joyous time for Muslims as they are meant to become closer to God and build their knowledge of Islam.

Many if not all the restaurants in town have special Fatoor/Iftar  packages and it is so much fun.  But then, I like to eat and talk so I am in my element!

This was the first time in five years that the kids and I went.  I only knew Zahran, the GM and his wife and family and Fouad.  I saw Fouad and sat across from him.  Samia came later and spent most of her time being the hostess to the other wives.  She told me later that she was introducing me to them by telling them who I was.  I felt the stares and looks but did not speak to anyone that I did not know because for however friendly and loud I am; I don't like walking into a crowd of people that I do not know and become shy. Plus, my husband wasn't there but he was the man who started the company so imagine my place??  I get to meet these ladies again at Z and S's house next week so I hope to talk to them properly.  Check out these pics!

Oh, funny enough, we went to Le Mer again.  Two times this month so far I go out and to the same place!  I don't mind, the menu was different and the company was great!

This was my second helping of SHUWA.  It is goat cooked the traditional Arab way in the ground.  It has a menagerie of spices and the drippings are supposed to go on the rice.  I love the rice because it has nuts.  Yep!  This was VERY good.  Hence the 2nd helping!  It was also served with a yogurt that had salt and pepper and veggies in it.  So good!

Forget about the starters and all.  I forgot to take pictures.

The only, the ONLY  dessert that I took was UMALI or OMALI.  Holy cow this is my favorite from the Middle East!  It is like a bread pudding.  It's made of puff pastry or bread or croissants and cream or milk and sugar and nuts and I CAN NOT make it!  I will!  One day!

Amal took this picture of me.  I was in my Happy Place!

Ali then ran and took some pictures of the desserts.  Feast your eyes.  I have no idea what they are except for oh I see Baklava.  Uh huh...

This was Ali's favorite of the night.  When he went to get me one they were 'sold out momma'.

The desserts are always fun to look at if not try.  So much variety and sugar!

Isn't this a gorgeous photo of Umali?  It might not look like much to the eye but I love it.

I saw this recipe in a local magazine with the recipe from a celebrity Arab chef.  From what I gather, it is like mini pancakes rolled into a cone and filled with some kind of cream and rolled in nuts.  I tried it with Iggy and the girls and my kids but it did nothing for me.

This is Ali's favorite picture and it is nice.  Mini cheesecakes.  

Back to my Umali!  OMG!

Ali again took this shot of me eating it.  Can you SEE how happy I am??

This was placed throughout the tables to break the fast.  We have golden raisins, apricots and dates.

This is Joe.  The men met in Saudi.  I guess I was too busy having Ali then!  He did not know anything about me and was really surprised at 'How good and strong of an American accent I had and the kids had'.  Hello, I am American!  Men in these parts don't talk about their women it seems.

Fouad ordered Turkish coffee and it was like crude oil.  I loved the set that it came out in.  I was smitten!  Then Joe had ordered Arabic Tea.  I loved this set too and asked for that.  I then asked him to order it for me and he did.  His cup was red and mine was blue and it had these floaties in it which, ya know, I was sceptical until Fouad  claimed that they were pine nuts.  I would have liked mine a little sweeter but it was nice.  You lift the thing high and pour it into the glass.  It's all silver and very Arab.

Oh, I finished my ONE serving of Umali!

Here is my blue glass cup with tea.

Another shot.  They serve it with a little cloth pot holder for a lack of a better word.  It is HOT.

Here is Fouad.  Sorry it is blurry.  He served himself a huge plate of all kinds of deserts!

Amal is talking to Nizar.  This kid is BRILLIANT.  Like uber smart.  Fouad was teasing him for talking to a girl instead of the kids his age.  He knows where it's at!  We are smitten with him!

Ali got creative with my tea.  See the floaties?  They are pine nuts.  I said that already!

Here is Lulu posing for Ali.

She is so darned cute too.  She only speaks Arabic right now.  She will learn English and then I will grab her!  She lets me kiss her and hug her and comes to me so I am happy.

Here are Lulu and Mr. Nawaf.  He is gorgeous too.

This man on the right is Zahran.  He is the General Manger of the company.  He was giving out 5 year awards or something.  Watches he told me.  I want my readers to see the difference in head gear that the Omani's wear.  Z has on a turban or MUSSAR.  The dude on the left and the two sitting down are wearing the KUMA.  I can sew these but the work involved hurts my right arm.  Z's is formal and the others are casual.

Here is an example of two different colors of Mussars.  Each tribe or area folds them their own way but the same as everyone else if you can comprehend that explanation?

Here is Hamad.  Gosh he looks like his Mom.  He is Z's little brother.  I absolutely LOVED his beard!  When I complimented him he seemed truly appreciative that SOMEONE noticed!  Then, we went to get that 2nd serving of Shuwa and I started talking to him about that guy that died in our car before Ramadan started and he got confused until he realized I thought he was the other brother Yasser.  Ooops!  The three brothers look so alike.  Z looks completely different to his brothers.  Anyway, that embarrassing moment over I told him that I am used to seeing him at his house in the village and much more, um, comfortable?

Anyway, I asked if I could take pics and put on my blog of his cool beard, he said 'yes!'.  I embarrassed the kids but hey!

Front shot.  So handsome, masha'allah!  Oooh, these Arab men!!

Thanks for stopping by!


Chick Flick Journal said...

The food is the best part! Yummy! If he had a dirty beard he would've looked much better!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you..Glad you had such a gr8 time..hope many many more to come and always!!

Coffeebean's Dailies said...

Thank you both of you!

Anonymous said...

"Men in these parts don't talk about their women it seems"

Indeed, we don't, out of respect for the women.

Have a great time wherever you are.